Thursday, September 4, 2014

G'bye Lawn: Making a Sustainable Prairie Garden

For years my wife and I have wanted to remove our front lawn and replace it with a prairie garden that increases water penetration, soil fertility, and helps pollinating insects. We're up against suburban dogma that says lawn is king -- we have neighbors that mow 3x a week, hire TruGreen, trim lawn with scissors, and water every morning with auto sprinklers. But we're burning to make a difference.

We want to set a better example and use our space to teach and inspire in as many ways as we can. But of course, we need help to make it happen -- we need you to believe in us, believe in this sort of thing in our neighborhood, city, and across the country. If our project doesn't get fully funded by September 14 it won't happen. Can you help us? Will you spread the word? Here's the link to our Indiegogo campaign.


Our strategy is to get the garden in as fast as possible so any "messy" transition or years of slow building won't rile up the neighbors. We have a wide 6' swath of lawn we'll keep as a pathway through the 600' garden. We'll use plants that get less than 3-4' tall, and plants nearest the driveway, curb, and property line, will be 1-2' tall at most. I'll source my plugs from a local nonprofit prairie nursery who uses many local genotype seeds. There will be a sign saying what the garden is, why it is, and what it's doing for water, soil, and wildlife. We're ready! Can you feel it?

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ben
I support your project. I am putting in a pollinator prairie garden in my front yard myself.
What I don't understand is the deadline and the fact that you cant fund the project your self.
Also, why did you name True green but didn't name your source of plants??

Karen

Benjamin Vogt said...

Karen -- if we had the money we wouldn't be asking for it. Nebraska Statewide Arboretum is where I hope to source most of the plants. As for the deadline, gotta have them when you run a crowdfunding project -- we choose this one to give us enough time for fall install, as the project state. :)

Greg said...

I am looking to reduce the size of our lawn as well but not ready to commit to full removal of grass. Don't want to mow so much though.

Mike said...

I wish you the best of luck with your project. DOWN WITH THE TYRANNY OF MANICURED LAWNS!

Benjamin Vogt said...

Greg -- Baby steps are fine too! I'm doing that.
Mike -- Thank you! I sure hope we get there, and can create a positive example.

Julie Hill @Southern Wild Design said...

Best of luck with your campaign. I have done my level best to share the word as I am a fellow worshiper of native plants and wildlife friendly yards. I am in my own Bermuda battle and will be planting for pollinators very soon! Little by little the yard will be gone. Best ~Julie

Lauren said...

I'm so glad you've reached your goal, Congratulations!!

Ed Milligan said...

Thanks for sharing your story of a successful crowd funding project that really makes a difference.